Macy's announces new round of closings

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by pseudo3d » May 12th, 2017, 10:15 am

SamSpade wrote:With release of Q1 earnings, a lot of the M.S.M. is taking notice of troubles at Macy's and others.
The unfortunate thing about Macy’s’: Just about everything
Macy's, Kohl's and JCPenney stocks all taking a hit.


Some circles of the Internet would are quick to point out that the "Trump boycott" started to reverse their stock growth and caused it to plummet. However, it does make a lot of sense, whether you agree whether this was deserved or not.

With the big round of conversions in 2005 and 2006, Macy's went from a store in relatively upscale urban areas that voted Democrat to a chain in smaller, conservative markets that vastly outnumber the "urban" stores, and those smaller markets were the areas that went red. What Macy's never really got was that when you do mass conversions, the rules change and your average demographics for your store are no longer what they were and you have to make some sort of change to account for this. It was similar to what Albertsons, in its own hubris and arrogance, did with Lucky, and it boggles my mind that during the same time Macy's was rebranding the regional department stores en masse, Albertsons was falling apart as a direct result of the American Stores merger.

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by CalItalian » May 12th, 2017, 11:58 am

I am (have been) a huge Macy's customer.

Macy's problems start with bad buyers. They don't have great clothes, furnishings or home goods anymore. Nothing stands out in-store or even online (plus their website is downright horrible). They rarely have anything exclusive to them that is hot. For that matter, they don't usually carry anything that is hot.

I know a few years back they gave their regions a chance to serve their local tastes more but this also has led to an unevenness in the quality of clothes from market to market and location to location. Quite frankly, I don't know what to expect when I go into an unfamiliar Macy's location anymore. Most times I end up being disappointed.

As for prices, I have seen a willingness from people I know that are not normally Macy's shoppers to shop in their Macy's Last Act areas. I hate the areas, personally (plus I have done better with their coupons). They make Macy's look like a trashy Ross Dress for Less but I guess that is what we have become trained to accept. I am looking forward to the shoe departments becoming self-service, though. The amount of time I have waited over the years for a salesperson to find the match to my clearance shoes, I could probably have taken a month long vacation.

Macy's could get more imaginative in their sales, too. It's the same set of One Day Sales (which is three consecutive days this month), Friends and Family (which everyone is part of now), Super Weekend and sales tailored to the name of the holiday of the month. Their coupons have so many exclusions, I see so many disappointed and frustrated customers every single time I shop in-store, too. They've got a lot of problems and really I don't see a path to resolving them anytime soon.

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by pseudo3d » May 12th, 2017, 3:01 pm

CalItalian wrote:I am (have been) a huge Macy's customer.

Macy's problems start with bad buyers. They don't have great clothes, furnishings or home goods anymore. Nothing stands out in-store or even online (plus their website is downright horrible). They rarely have anything exclusive to them that is hot. For that matter, they don't usually carry anything that is hot.

I know a few years back they gave their regions a chance to serve their local tastes more but this also has led to an unevenness in the quality of clothes from market to market and location to location. Quite frankly, I don't know what to expect when I go into an unfamiliar Macy's location anymore. Most times I end up being disappointed.

As for prices, I have seen a willingness from people I know that are not normally Macy's shoppers to shop in their Macy's Last Act areas. I hate the areas, personally (plus I have done better with their coupons). They make Macy's look like a trashy Ross Dress for Less but I guess that is what we have become trained to accept. I am looking forward to the shoe departments becoming self-service, though. The amount of time I have waited over the years for a salesperson to find the match to my clearance shoes, I could probably have taken a month long vacation.

Macy's could get more imaginative in their sales, too. It's the same set of One Day Sales (which is three consecutive days this month), Friends and Family (which everyone is part of now), Super Weekend and sales tailored to the name of the holiday of the month. Their coupons have so many exclusions, I see so many disappointed and frustrated customers every single time I shop in-store, too. They've got a lot of problems and really I don't see a path to resolving them anytime soon.


Part of Macy's problem is that they want to be a mass market department store while also trying to be more upscale and those two are at ends with each other. Supermarkets can get away with it because even if it's the difference between a fantastic 80,000 square foot store with its own bar and a 20,000 square foot store in a rough neighborhood, at the end of the day you can still find Cheerios, store-brand milk, and the same run of basic items you can find anywhere. If their myriad of problems were smoothed out, Sears and JCPenney at the end of the day are mass market retailers with some fairly pedestrian clothing and other houseware goods. But Macy's wants to be mass market and still be semi-upscale (like at their flagship store), resulting in one of the most disorganized, inconsistent brands in history with very little common ground. Good news for Macy's is that they didn't have in the last past 10 years some idiot CEO that took a weak company and made it worse (specifically Lampert but that guy from Apple that tried to remake JCPenney in his own image too).

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by storewanderer » May 12th, 2017, 11:12 pm

I have a coworker who buys button down dress shirts at Macys and the elbows on them keep ripping up they are so poorly made/tightly cut. It seems he goes in there every month or so and has to buy five new shirts. He is always happy he can find shirts $8-$15 each. I buy similar shirts at Dillards (also have some from Kohl's and some older ones from JCP) at similar prices and have never had this problem. I have to think the ones at Macys are just flat out lousy quality.

Macy's probably never should have become a national department store chain. Or if they were going to be national, more of a Nordstrom model of few stores in a given market. The problem is Macy's took a bunch of mid-market stores and tried to position them in a more upscale image (yet the stores were dumps and the markets/malls were not right for upscale), run by management who was more comfortable with the old more upscale formats such as Macy's West and the NYC Flagship.

I think Macy's management is actually pretty good historically, and that is part of why they have not tanked to the extent of Sears or JCP (yet).

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by mjhale » May 13th, 2017, 4:55 am

When Macy's went nationwide I feel like there were banking on the fact that folks would welcome and be interested in them simply because of the perceived cachet of the name. In suburban areas of major metro areas that were middle class and above this worked to some extent. But in small town or non-metro areas I think they failed because in most cases they took a long time department store name and turned it into Macy's. How many times have you heard "I want my fill in the blank local department store chain name back. Screw the people who destroyed it." This is even true in large metro areas. When Macy's bought May and got rid of Hechts in the DC area it was another local nameplate down the drain. Even though Hechts was owned by May they still had local offices and buyers. I know many long time Washingtonians who will never forgive Macys for homogenizing the stores which ultimately ended in getting rid of anything Hechts.

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by rwsandiego » May 13th, 2017, 8:08 pm

mjhale wrote:When Macy's went nationwide I feel like there were banking on the fact that folks would welcome and be interested in them simply because of the perceived cachet of the name. In suburban areas of major metro areas that were middle class and above this worked to some extent. But in small town or non-metro areas I think they failed because in most cases they took a long time department store name and turned it into Macy's. How many times have you heard "I want my fill in the blank local department store chain name back. Screw the people who destroyed it." This is even true in large metro areas. When Macy's bought May and got rid of Hechts in the DC area it was another local nameplate down the drain. Even though Hechts was owned by May they still had local offices and buyers. I know many long time Washingtonians who will never forgive Macys for homogenizing the stores which ultimately ended in getting rid of anything Hechts.

Friends in LA still bemoan the conversion of Bullock's to Macy's and we all know how Chicagoans (and expats like me) feel about the loss of Marshall Field's. I recall Terry Lundgren saying focus groups indicated that they would prefer the Macy's name over Field's and in other cities the local department store name. Unless those focus groups consisted of he, himself, and him they were NOT saying that - and Macy's subsequent troubles prove that out.

One of the areas in which I felt Macy's was strong is home and furniture. Then I moved to Phoenix. The stores here don't have half the selection of the home stores in San Diego, LA, and Orange County. They are apparently working toward increasing the variety in their stores, but with competition from Ashley, Living Spaces, Mor, Ethan Allen (we still have them here), and on and on they had better hurry or else they will never catch up.

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by pseudo3d » May 13th, 2017, 9:13 pm

rwsandiego wrote:
mjhale wrote:When Macy's went nationwide I feel like there were banking on the fact that folks would welcome and be interested in them simply because of the perceived cachet of the name. In suburban areas of major metro areas that were middle class and above this worked to some extent. But in small town or non-metro areas I think they failed because in most cases they took a long time department store name and turned it into Macy's. How many times have you heard "I want my fill in the blank local department store chain name back. Screw the people who destroyed it." This is even true in large metro areas. When Macy's bought May and got rid of Hechts in the DC area it was another local nameplate down the drain. Even though Hechts was owned by May they still had local offices and buyers. I know many long time Washingtonians who will never forgive Macys for homogenizing the stores which ultimately ended in getting rid of anything Hechts.

Friends in LA still bemoan the conversion of Bullock's to Macy's and we all know how Chicagoans (and expats like me) feel about the loss of Marshall Field's. I recall Terry Lundgren saying focus groups indicated that they would prefer the Macy's name over Field's and in other cities the local department store name. Unless those focus groups consisted of he, himself, and him they were NOT saying that - and Macy's subsequent troubles prove that out.


I don't recall that, but the only way that could be true is if it was a comparison to the set-up prior to 2006. With the exception of California and New York, Macy's stores tended to be in more upscale malls. Where Foley's was in Houston, there was only one Macy's left after they pulled out in 1996, and I think in the entire state of Texas there weren't more than a small handful with one or two in urban areas in each.

I wouldn't be surprised if Macy's started out driving off customers in rural areas because of the perception that it was higher-priced, even though by that time Macy's downscaled to be more mass market.

One of the areas in which I felt Macy's was strong is home and furniture. Then I moved to Phoenix. The stores here don't have half the selection of the home stores in San Diego, LA, and Orange County. They are apparently working toward increasing the variety in their stores, but with competition from Ashley, Living Spaces, Mor, Ethan Allen (we still have them here), and on and on they had better hurry or else they will never catch up.[/quote]

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by CalItalian » May 14th, 2017, 1:19 am

Last month, Macy's opened their newest built from the ground up store about 1 mile from where I live. It's a great looking upscale store in the Westfield Century City mall that is trying to appeal to millennials (does not have a furniture department, btw). You wouldn't think it is a Macy's when you step into it. They have a number of services that other Macy's in the area don't (but lacks certain departments that you'd expect such as plus size clothing and a full lingerie department). It also lacks a lot of the downscale merchandise I see in other Macy's. They also built areas within the store to "hide" the Last Act merchandise. It contrasts greatly with another Macy's, originally a May Company, that is just a mile from it in the Westside Pavilion especially in services and merchandise. This store is closer to the merchandise mix I find at the Beverly Center which has a ground floor Macy's Men's Store and Macy's Women and Home on the upper floors of the mall but even more upscale. Nice store but it just adds to my confusion of what Macy's is (there is a Bloomingdale's in this mall, too, and it reminds me of it but totally targeted to just one age group).
http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-ww ... story.html
https://www.yelp.com/biz/macys-los-angeles-5

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by CalItalian » May 14th, 2017, 1:29 am

Macy's Herald Square NYC
Not a great story with lots of pics of how this store has been transformed.
http://www.businessinsider.com/macys-is ... stylish-22

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Re: Macy's announces new round of closings

Post by Super S » May 14th, 2017, 9:05 am

When people shop at a store like Macy's, they are expecting a nicer store with better quality products. The same can be said about many other department stores. Where they miss the mark though is in carrying products that are similar in appearance and quality to what discount stores carry, not to mention made in the same places as China. I have a hard time paying a price premium in those situations. Especially when the store itself hasn't seen much remodeling in 15-20 years. Most Walmarts are even remodeled more often.

Would people return to Macy's and pay a higher price point if they truly had better quality merchandise, or made an effort to have more American made products? Or would people just migrate online more? I think if a store truly offered better products, and a better level of service to go along with it, they could rebound.

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